I used to scrapbook...I used to scrapbook a lot. I was on design teams. I got to travel to other countries to teach classes...but I knew once we began the paperchase for our adoption I wouldn't be able to keep up with the assignments so I stepped down and out of the scrapping world. I scrapped a few pages while we were waiting, but it has probably been 8+ months since I have looked at a piece of paper. Over the past couple of days it has been calling my name again. All of my supplies were stashed away in the corner of my craftroom and I just knew the next stop was going to be the basement...but then this week I was going to mail a gift and couldn't bring myself to put a store bought card in the package so I dusted off my stash. It took my over an hour to find a paper trimmer that's how bad it was! Once I made the card I wanted to make more so today I printed out a picture and decided to give it a go. I don't have any of the latest and greatest supplies, heck I don't even know what those are anymore I am so far out of the loop. I did have some washi tape and that seems to be popping up on the pages I see on my Pinterest feed :)
It will probably be another 8 months before I make another page...but it was fun while it lasted!!
Finding it way too easy to take pictures this way instead of dragging out the real camera...
1. Six month family day 2. Flair 3. Getting a much needed trim 4. T-shirt from a Dutch friend 5. My craftroom should be cast on Hoarders 6. Silliness 7. Artist at work 8. Thrifting finds 9. Bed head 10. Beach 11. Birthday card from a friend 12. Napping in glittery shoes
The whole counting to 12 reminds me of this old school Sesame Street video that Frances watched a gazillion times on my phone while we were making our way home from TN. Don't hate me that this song is probably stuck in your head now :)
I do, I really do. When I scrapped I had occasion to use some of my finds, but as of late they have just been sitting and collecting dust. I have a room filled to the brim with vintage finds. Little jars filled with buttons, Pyrex bowls filled with vintage trims, yards and yards of vintage fabrics. I love that I am finally getting to use some of these goodies in the items I make for my shop. Yesterday during quiet time I found a little tin bucket tucked on a shelf filled with vintage milk caps. I collected them during my scrapping days (which are long gone!) so now they are embellishing these sweet little headbands that can be found here :)
BTW are you on Instagram? I signed up ages ago but never really used it but got back into the swing of it over the weekend...I am marthabonneau if you would like to follow along!
This weekend we celebrated Frances' 4th birthday! They usually do not celebrate the children's birthdays at the CWI, so we wanted it to be really special for her. Last year it was a special day because we submitted our Letter of Intent on her birthday! There were a few evenings that I spent looking at ideas on Pinterest and started stressing myself out...it was just going to be the 3 of us and all she kept asking for was a "kitty cake" so I ditched all the crafty ideas and kept it simple. I knew with being out of town for the week before her birthday I wasn't going to have time to go all Martha Stewart on the day so we kept it all about family and of course...the kitty cake :)
At first I was going to order a cake, but then at the last minute decided just to make one. 3 layers of pink cake with pink strawberry frosting with a kitty on top and we had 1 happy girl! The night before she was sooooooo excited about her cake. She was a bit wound up and kept asking to go eat some cake, when we finally settled her down and she was almost asleep she was concerned that baba was going to touch her cake. "Baba no touch birthday cake" she kept saying. I assured her that that wasn't the case and she finally drifted off.
I think she was a bit overwhelmed by it all. She blew out the candles and then asked to do it again...I think we relit them for her 5 or 6 times :)
After cutting her a piece of kitty cake she decided that the best way to eat your cake was to lick it, not your slice but the whole cake! Her leftover cake now has a bare spot on 1 side where the frosting has been licked off :)
She received a few things we bought in China for her, lots of Hello Kitty (thanks to a friend), some Yo Gabba goodies and her first Target gift card (thank you Granny & Grandpa!), tomorrow she can hit up the Target $1 Spot with her gift card.
It is bittersweet since there is a woman in China who is not celebrating on this day. I cannot imagine not knowing where the child that you had to give up is or if she is even in the same country still and I am sure that birthdays are especially hard for her. It is bittersweet as we do not even know if the day that we know as her birthday is actually her birthday. I wish I could let her China mama know that her little girl is happy, and healthy, and celebrated on this day. We wanted this day to be special and to start some family traditions that she can carry-on or at least have fond memories of. As she danced around full of kitty cake wearing all of her Hello Kitty accessories that she had just received, we took a minute to look through the lifebook we gave her as one of her presents. We always want to celebrate on this day, but we also want to stop to remember how she came to be a part of our family and to celebrate her China family as well.
It's been a crazy week of travel and then home just in time for a certain someone's 4th birthday so this video will have to suffice as a first father's day gift. I'm not the mushy proclaim my love & sing my praises all over the internet type, so I will let Joey do the singing for me...
Martha aka mama
This week we all piled into the car for our first road trip to Tennessee as a family of 3. I was a wee bit worried about how Frances would respond to being shuffled between hotels and various friends and family members but she did great. In fact she did better than great!! Of course I overpacked, not having traveled with her before (except in China) I brought way too much stuff but I kind of got giddy about not having to stick to luggage restrictions since we were driving. I still have nightmares about packing for China with the weight restrictions so I happily packed everything and didn't have to weigh any bags :)
We decided to take it slow and drove to Cave City, KY the first day. We have driven through there countless times but never really stopped and Bob really wanted to see Mammoth Cave. The shortest cave tour was 2 hours and I knew Frances wouldn't be up for that so we left Bob at the caves...
and the girls went to Dinosaur World
Over 100 cheese-tacular life-size fiberglass dinos awaited us. I don't think Frances was too impressed, but it was a good way to kill some time and get a wooly mammoth photo-op :)
My favorite moment at Dinosaur World was when the 2 of us were sitting on a bench and a group of kids walked by, Frances grabbed my hand and sternly looked at them while loudly saying "my mommy!!" ♥
No trip to Cave City is complete without a trip to see the Wigwam Village Inn
We didn't stay there as the 3 of us crammed in a wigwam would have been a little too close for comfort, but we drove by to take pictures. While Frances was posing by a wigwam, a woman who was staying there asked if we wanted to look inside their wigwam....of course I said yes :) Bob was a little leary about me ducking into a stranger's wigwam, but I was glad I did as it was cool to see the original furnishings and kitschy tile work in the bathroom. Maybe one day we will get to stay there, for now we decided that comfort and a pool trumped retro kitschiness
The next day we made it Nashville and started making the rounds of friends and family. We squeezed in some time to go to Antique Archaeology, we've been to the store in Iowa and really wanted to see the Nashville store too...
It's was cool to see things we recognized from picks on the show.
Of course we had to have some BBQ while in town
And Frances had her first grits at Waffle House...to say she liked them would be an understatement, but I think the layer of cheese on them only helped :)
Helping her Granny water flowers
Being a goofy goober with daddy
After all that activity we thought she would sleep most of the way home but she only slept like 15 minutes which left time for approximately 175 bathroom stops between Nashville and home. I think she was looking for reasons to get out of the car so with a sly look in her her eyes she kept telling us to stop so she could go. 11 hours later we finally made it home and after a quick swinging session in the back yard, she quickly went to sleep. She amazed both of us with how well she did...we both were unsure of how this week would go, but it went so well we are planning another Tennessee trip in August for a family reunion.
I was sitting in our driveway having a garage sale with a friend and we got "the call". It was totally unexpected as a shared list had been released a couple of weeks earlier and we thought we would be waiting a few more weeks or even months, but that afternoon on June 10th, the China coordinator from our agency called with a file for us! We paced anxiously, hitting refresh on the laptop about 8 gazillion times in the 15 minutes it took for her to get the file to us. As we waited I tried to be rational, telling myself I wouldn't look at any pictures until I had read the info in the file...so what was the first thing I did when it came? We opened it up and immediately saw this face ♥
A phone call was made to our pediatrician's office, an email was sent and phone calls exchanged with an international adoption Dr. and a letter of intent was sent off to China. We nervously waited for our PA, pre-approval, a step which usually only takes a few days but in our case ended up taking 46 days due to what we called "the gay identical lover incident". Long story short, our agency submitted 2 pictures of Bob with our letter of intent instead of 1 of each of us so our agency had to prove that a gay couple was not trying to adopt. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was a wreck and would cry at the drop of a hat! More paperwork was submitted, more waiting ensued and a few months later we were on a plane to China.
Tomorrow morning our social worker comes for our 6 month visit, I cannot believe that 6 months have gone by already. I feel like we just got off the plane a couple of weeks ago! We need to submit pictures to our SW at each visit, one of which needs to be of the 3 of us, so I drug out the tripod and was able to finally get a picture of the 3 of us together, the first one since being in China. It ain't fancy, but these first time parents of an almost 4 year old are still standing, the house is clean, and there's a happy little girl sitting between us...what more could you ask for?
During today's quiet time I had a chance to work on something I have been wanting to make for a while, headbands for the shop
Someone was even kind enough to (briefly) model for me after their nap...her fee, 4 M&Ms, 1 for each headband :)